Study set to examine truck driver fatigue due to commuting

Because large trucks are so prominent on the road and play a large role in the economy, they will always be part of the landscape. It is wise to give them significant room to operate not just because of their size, but also due to the possibility that the driver might be reckless, distracted, under the influence or fatigued. When there is a tractor-trailer crash, the smaller vehicles will undoubtedly get the worst of it with injuries and fatalities.

Entities, like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, are constantly trying to find ways to make the roads safer and that includes studies into truckers and what might cause accidents. One issue that is of growing concern is truck driver fatigue not from their time on the road in their truck, but from their commute to get to their truck. A new survey is planned to see how far truckers travel before beginning work and if there is a link between time, distance and risk when driving the trucks.

If a truckers’ commute is two-and-a-half hours, the FMCSA wants to know about it. Truck driver fatigue is believed to be a major issue and if the commute is linked to it, this study sets out to gather just how dangerous this might be. In the study, the FMSCA will examine the work history of the drivers, how far and long their commute is, their schedules, what their rest periods and breaks entail, how many miles they drive per year and other factors.

One accident that is believed to have been connected to this issue injured comedian Tracy Morgan in 2014, when a trucker fell asleep while driving and crashed into the vehicle carrying Mr. Morgan and others. The trucker had an 800-mile commute in the morning before going on duty in his truck and fatigue was labeled a factor in the accident.

When there is a truck accident, investigators will examine evidence, like the trucking log, test the driver for various substances and consider a litany of issues to determine how and why it happened. One consideration that should be examined is how far the driver commuted before hitting the road in the truck and if this might have played a role.

Those who have been hurt in a crash with a truck must think about all the possible reasons for the accident. With medical expenses, lost time at work and even loss of life, truck accidents can profoundly hinder a person and his or her family. A legal filing can secure compensation after the accident and a lawyer is vital to that process.

Source:, “FMCSA to study truck drivers’ commuting habits, safety impacts,” James Jaillet, Jan. 5, 2018